June 05, 2007

Martinez Watch: Pedro On The Mound

Jim Baubmach at Newsday, writes about Pedro Martinez and his first day throwing off the mound:

Pedro Martinez this afternoon took the most significant step to date in his rehab, throwing 38 pitches off a mound for the first time.Eight months to the day of his rotator cuff surgery,

Martinez was his usual jovial self as he prepared for his bullpen session. After 15 minutes of agility drills and 15 minutes of long-tossing, Martinez stepped on the mound here at the Mets' minor league complex at precisely 1:11 p.m.

He practiced his delivery five times off the mound before throwing seven pitches, with minor league catcher Danny Cummings standing upright. Then Cummings crouched down and Martinez threw 15 pitches under a sweltering mid-90s heat.

He took a five-minute water break and practiced his delivery once more, before throwing 16 final pitches off the mound. The bullpen session lasted 12 minutes."He went into it with an understanding that he wasn't going to push it," Mets rehab pitching coach Randy Niemann. "He wanted to be free and easy.

"Niemann said as long as Martinez feels good, his next bullpen session could be Friday. Martinez is expected to meet with reporters to discuss the session shortly.

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